Australia - Country Commercial Guide
Customs Regulations
Last published date:

The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service regulates the movement of goods and people across the Australian border. Customs does not scrutinize every transaction relying on clients to self-assess the correctness of transactions. Australian importers are legally responsible for the accuracy of information supplied to Customs, regardless of who prepares the documents. Cargo reporters, importers, customs brokers, freight forwarders, depot and warehouse proprietors, financial institutions, information storage facilities, bureau services, owners, stevedores, etc. may be subject to compliance checks conducted by customs. The importer is also responsible for verification of the country of origin. The U.S. shipper should declare on the commercial invoice “the goods are of U.S. manufacture and comply with AUSFTA.”

Penalties apply for non-compliance with customs legislation, and offences do not require intent to be proven. Information and legislation requirements associated with import and export transactions are extensive. It is the responsibility of importers to familiarize themselves with the information provided by customs. All imported goods must be entered in accordance with approved documentation, classified correctly, and any surplus goods reported. Items not ordered, samples, and promotional merchandise must also be entered. All relevant commercial documents must be retained for five years from the date of entry.

Clicking on this link will take you to the Australian Border Force website. The site provides extensive information and guidance, some of which was used in the preparation of this section. Clients can also contact the Customs Information and Support Center.